Property taxes remain stable, water parcel taxes rise in new budget
Council approved the city’s 2012 operating and capital budgets on Monday evening, and then put both this year’s bylaws on municipal tax rates and on parcel tax rates through their first three readings.
Municipal tax rates have been set so that, for the third year running, there will be no increase to the average Rossland homeowner. Both the budget and the municipal tax rates passed without discussion.
Coun. Jill Spearn did instigate a brief discussion on the increase to the water parcel tax and Coun. Jody Blomme chose to vote against the bylaw, which passed 5-1 (with Coun. Kathy Moore absent.)
According to city staff, proposed capital projects in the 2012 “Water Fund” require the water parcel tax rate to be increased by nearly $50, a 25 per cent increase for owners in the taxed areas.
Spearn asked, “What’s the rationale for the increase?”
Manager of Finance Deb Timm was present at the meeting and answered that it was to cover “capital expenditures and budget.”
Blomme said, “I wanted to point out that the need for this increase was due to a lot of decisions that were made by prior councils and councillors. I don’t know if I feel very comfortable with the necessity for it. Especially in times like now, if you can’t afford it, don’t do it. I don’t agree with increasing it.”
Coun. Tim Thatcher added, “It’s an increase of almost 25 per cent. It does seem a lot. I agree with Coun. Blomme that I don’t really know if I agree with it. I see the list of projects there. But it does seem like a large increase to me. It will affect some of our seniors in town.”
Mayor Granstrom responded, “I think it will affect all of us, but I also think there are projects that we have to stay on top of.”
The municipal tax rate this year will be $6.1575 per $1000 of assessed value for residences. The average residential owner will see an increase of $8.18 in their property taxes over last year.
Council’s package included several options to increase the tax rate, of which one was officially presented to “retain the $35,000 new construction revenue as additional to the 2011 revenue level.” Had this higher tax rate been chosen, the average residence’s taxes would have increased by $23.62.
“Utility” class properties will be taxed at $34.6667 per $1000, and “Business/Commercial” class will be taxed at $10.5293.
Total property taxation will come to $3,548,141.